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Biomass Conversion Technologies II

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A4: Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (2 November 2023) | Viewed by 11610

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Guest Editor
Griffith School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia
Interests: biomass; biomass conversion; biofuel; biogas; biohydrogen; environmental biotechnology; renewable energy technologies; anaerobic digestion
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass from agriculture, agro-industry, and municipalities is considered a renewable and sustainable energy resource that can be used to produce renewable electricity, bioenergy, transportation fuels (biofuels), and/or high-value functional chemicals. Biomass conversion technologies, such as those involving combustion, thermochemical, electrochemical, or biochemical pathways, can be used to convert biomass into alternative solid energy sources (charcoal, biochar, and RDF), liquid biofuels (biodiesel, algal biofuel, bioethanol, pyrolysis, and liquefaction bio-oils), and gaseous fuels (biogas, syngas, and biohydrogen). The produced bioenergy can complement other renewables such as solar and wind energy, and facilitate meeting targets of renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Therefore, advanced and innovative biomass conversion technologies play a crucial role in renewable energy development and the replacement of fossil fuels and chemicals in achieving environmental sustainability. This Special Issue aims to publish a comprehensive overview and in-depth technical research papers addressing the recent progress in biomass conversion technologies and processes. Studies of advanced technologies and methods for bioenergy, biorefinery, and biofuel production are also welcomed. Research involving experimental and numerical studies, recent developments, and the current state of the art and emerging technologies in this field are highly encouraged.

Dr. Prasad Kaparaju
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • biomass
  • biofuel
  • bioenergy
  • biorefinery
  • chemicals
  • physical conversion
  • thermochemical conversion
  • chemical conversion
  • biological conversion
  • process optimization
  • process design
  • thermodynamic analysis
  • gasification process
  • process modeling

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 2028 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Operational Problems and Improvement Measures for Biomass-Circulating Fluidized Bed Gasifiers
by Shan Gu, Maosheng Liu and Xiaoye Liang
Energies 2024, 17(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17020303 - 07 Jan 2024
Viewed by 737
Abstract
The advancement of biomass-circulating fluidized bed (CFB) gasification technology in China for commercialization and industrial application is still in its initial stages, characterized by extensive theoretical studies; however, there is limited documentation of its actual industrial operational characteristics. This study analyzes the operational [...] Read more.
The advancement of biomass-circulating fluidized bed (CFB) gasification technology in China for commercialization and industrial application is still in its initial stages, characterized by extensive theoretical studies; however, there is limited documentation of its actual industrial operational characteristics. This study analyzes the operational challenges encountered in a 5 t/h biomass CFB gasifier at a rice factory in Jiangsu Province, China. It examines critical issues emerging during the gasifier system’s actual operational process, including the obstruction of the feeding system, the measurement of pressure at point blockages in the dense phase zone, loop seal blockages, bed inventory leakage of the blast cap on the air distribution plate, and gasification parameter fluctuations. Practical improvement strategies and implementation plans are proposed to address these operational concerns. The outcomes of this analysis serve as a reference for the design and operation of biomass CFB gasifiers. Furthermore, they provide crucial guidance for more extensive large-scale implementation of biomass CFB gasifiers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion Technologies II)
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13 pages, 1639 KiB  
Article
Energy Performance of Different Charcoal Production Systems
by Francisco Fernandes Bernardes, Thiago Libório Romanelli, Allana Katiussya Silva Pereira, Gabriela Fontes Mayrinck Cupertino, Márcia Aparecida Fernandes, José Otávio Brito, Elias Costa de Souza, Daniel Saloni and Ananias Francisco Dias Júnior
Energies 2023, 16(21), 7318; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16217318 - 28 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1001
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the energy performance of three different charcoal production systems: “encosta” kiln, “rectangular” kiln, and “fornalha” kiln. Data collection involved measuring carbonization product yields and essential process variables, enabling determination of material and energy flows, and evaluation of two [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the energy performance of three different charcoal production systems: “encosta” kiln, “rectangular” kiln, and “fornalha” kiln. Data collection involved measuring carbonization product yields and essential process variables, enabling determination of material and energy flows, and evaluation of two main energy indicators: the EROI and the energy balance. The study found that all evaluated systems had a negative energy balance, indicating inefficiency. The encosta kiln system displayed the best energy performance with the highest EROI (0.90 ± 0.45) and the greatest energy intensity (264.50 MJ t−1 ± 132.25), despite having faced technological, operational, and mechanization limitations that explained its limited use on a global scale. Research that evaluates the sustainable production of charcoal has grown in recent years, however, and it is necessary to invest in studies that evaluate the existing energy flow. Thus, the energy performance indicators presented in this study offer valuable insights for decision-making in charcoal production, potentially maximizing efficiency of the systems. Optimizing carbonization system energy performance can be achieved by implementing operational parameters focused on reducing avoidable energy losses, such as improving thermal insulation and introducing systems for heat recovery or combustion gas utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion Technologies II)
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37 pages, 7085 KiB  
Article
SWOT Analysis of Non-Technical and Technical Measures towards “(Nearly) Zero-Emission Stove Technologies”
by Gabriel Reichert and Christoph Schmidl
Energies 2023, 16(3), 1388; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16031388 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1938
Abstract
Firewood stoves are widespread and popular for renewable heat supply in Europe. Several new technological measures have been developed recently that aim at improving the appliance performance in terms of emissions and efficiency. In order to support the trend towards “(nearly) zero-emissions technologies”, [...] Read more.
Firewood stoves are widespread and popular for renewable heat supply in Europe. Several new technological measures have been developed recently that aim at improving the appliance performance in terms of emissions and efficiency. In order to support the trend towards “(nearly) zero-emissions technologies”, the objective of this study was to provide a profound overview of the most relevant technical primary and secondary measures for emission reduction and to analyze their functionality, the relevant framework conditions for their application and their costs. Since user behavior is essential for emission and efficiency performance, the state of knowledge about user behavior is summarized and the latest measures for its optimization are evaluated as non-technical primary measures. Primary and secondary measures were analyzed separately, but also potentially promising combinations of primary and secondary optimization were evaluated using SWOT analysis. The results showed that complementary application of primary and secondary measures will be necessary in order to achieve “(nearly) zero-emission technologies”. The paper is useful for manufacturers and provides them with guidance and recommendations for future developments. They can specifically select appropriate measures for their products and applications not only based on technical aspects, but also with a strong focus on user behavior and user comfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion Technologies II)
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14 pages, 4660 KiB  
Article
Extraction of Rice Bran Oil Using CO2-Expanded Hexane in the Two-Phase Region
by Idzumi Okajima, Kaichi Ito, Yusuke Aoki, Chang Yi Kong and Takeshi Sako
Energies 2022, 15(7), 2594; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15072594 - 02 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1914
Abstract
The performance of CO2-expanded hexane in the vapor-liquid two-phase region was examined to extract phosphorus-free bio-oil from rice bran. Previously, it was found that in the uniform liquid phase region, it is difficult to maintain the phosphorus concentration at a stable [...] Read more.
The performance of CO2-expanded hexane in the vapor-liquid two-phase region was examined to extract phosphorus-free bio-oil from rice bran. Previously, it was found that in the uniform liquid phase region, it is difficult to maintain the phosphorus concentration at a stable and low level when the CO2 mole fraction changed slightly. To overcome this issue, the dependences of the phosphorus and free fatty acid concentrations, the oil solubility, and the oil yield on the CO2 mole fraction in the CO2-expanded hexane were measured at 25 °C, 5.1–5.2 MPa, and at a CO2 mole fraction of 0.88–0.94 in the two-phase region. Thus, a relatively constant phosphorus concentration of <10 ppm was maintained in the extracted oil, which was ~1/50 of that in the oil extracted by hexane, thereby satisfying the European unified standard for biodiesel fuel. Furthermore, a high oil yield exceeding that of hexane extraction was maintained over all CO2 mole fractions. Moreover, the oil solubility in the CO2-expanded hexane decreased linearly with the CO2 mole fraction, and so this factor represented the oil-dissolving power of the extractant more accurately than the oil yield used previously. The free fatty acid concentration was 83% of that extracted by hexane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion Technologies II)
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15 pages, 1914 KiB  
Article
Anaerobic Digestion of Wastewater Sludge and Alkaline-Pretreated Wheat Straw at Semi-Continuous Pilot Scale: Performances and Energy Assessment
by Christine Peyrelasse, Abdellatif Barakat, Camille Lagnet, Prasad Kaparaju and Florian Monlau
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5391; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175391 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
During the last decade, the application of pretreatment has been investigated to enhance methane production from lignocellulosic biomass such as wheat straw (WS). Nonetheless, most of these studies were conducted in laboratory batch tests, potentially hiding instability problems or inhibition, which may fail [...] Read more.
During the last decade, the application of pretreatment has been investigated to enhance methane production from lignocellulosic biomass such as wheat straw (WS). Nonetheless, most of these studies were conducted in laboratory batch tests, potentially hiding instability problems or inhibition, which may fail in truly predicting full-scale reactor performance. For this purpose, the effect of an alkaline pretreatment on process performance and methane yields from WS (0.10 g NaOH g−1 WS at 90 °C for 1 h) co-digested with fresh wastewater sludge was evaluated in a pilot-scale reactor (20 L). Results showed that alkaline pretreatment resulted in better delignification (44%) and hemicellulose solubilization (62%) compared to untreated WS. Pilot-scale study showed that the alkaline pretreatment improved the methane production (261 ± 3 Nm3 CH4 t−1 VS) compared to untreated WS (201 ± 6 Nm3 CH4 t−1 VS). Stable process without any inhibition was observed and a high alkalinity was maintained in the reactor due to the NaOH used for pretreatment. The study thus confirms that alkaline pretreatment is a promising technology for full-scale application and could improve the overall economic benefits for biogas plant at 24 EUR t−1 VS treated, improve the energy recovery per unit organic matter, reduce the digestate volume and its disposal costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion Technologies II)
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Review

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25 pages, 2374 KiB  
Review
Biomass-Derived 2,3-Butanediol and Its Application in Biofuels Production
by Yuchen Bai, Huiya Feng, Nan Liu and Xuebing Zhao
Energies 2023, 16(15), 5802; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16155802 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2023
Abstract
2,3-butanediol (2,3-BDO) is an important biomass-derived platform chemical with various applications. Currently, the biological conversion of renewable carbon sources with bacteria or yeasts is a sustainable way to produce 2,3-BDO. Various carbon sources including glucose, glycerol, molasses and lignocellulose hydrolysate have been used [...] Read more.
2,3-butanediol (2,3-BDO) is an important biomass-derived platform chemical with various applications. Currently, the biological conversion of renewable carbon sources with bacteria or yeasts is a sustainable way to produce 2,3-BDO. Various carbon sources including glucose, glycerol, molasses and lignocellulose hydrolysate have been used for 2,3-BDO production, and the 2,3-BDO concentration in the fermentation broth can be higher than 150 g/L by optimizing the operating parameters with fed-batch operations. Various derivatives can be produced from 2,3-BDO, including isobutyraldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), diacetyl, etc.; among these, there is a large market demand for MEK and 1,3-butadiene each year. Some of the derivatives can be used as fuel additives or to produce biofuels. Generally, there are three ways to produce hydrocarbon fuels from 2,3-BDO, which are via the steps of dehydration, carbon chain extension, and hydrogenation (or hydrodeoxygenation), with MEK or 1,3-butadiene as the intermediates. C8–C16 alkanes can be produced by these routes, which can be potentially used as bio-jet fuels. This review article focuses on the microbial production of 2,3-BDO, the biomass feedstock used for fermentation, the recovery of 2,3-BDO from the fermentation broth as well as the downstream derivative products and their potential application in bio-jet fuel production. It was concluded that 2,3-BDO is a promising biomass-derived product, but its production and application in the biofuel field is still facing the problem of high production cost. Future work is recommended to develop more efficient processes to increase the 2,3-BDO yield and more advanced technologies to produce hydrocarbon fuels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion Technologies II)
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22 pages, 2104 KiB  
Review
Critical Assessment of Hydrogen and Methane Production from 1G and 2G Sugarcane Processing Wastes Using One-Stage and Two-Stage Anaerobic Digestion
by Tirthankar Mukherjee, Eric Trably and Prasad Kaparaju
Energies 2023, 16(13), 4919; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16134919 - 24 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Sugarcane is a lignocellulosic crop which is used to produce sugar in sugarcane processing industries. Globally, sugarcane processing industries generate solid and liquid wastes amounting to more than 279 million tons per annum and by-products; namely, trash, bagasse, mill mud, and molasses. The [...] Read more.
Sugarcane is a lignocellulosic crop which is used to produce sugar in sugarcane processing industries. Globally, sugarcane processing industries generate solid and liquid wastes amounting to more than 279 million tons per annum and by-products; namely, trash, bagasse, mill mud, and molasses. The valorisation of waste and by-products has recently increased and is playing a significant role in achieving policies and goals associated with circular bioeconomy and sustainable development. For the valorisation of sugarcane processing industry waste and by-products, a number of technologies are well established and in use, while other innovative technologies are still ongoing through research and development with promising futures. These by-products obtained from sugarcane processing industries can be converted into biofuels like hydrogen and methane via anaerobic digestion. Molasses belongs to the first-generation (1G) waste, while trash, bagasse, and mill mud belong to second-generation (2G) waste. Various studies have been carried out in converting both first- and second-generation sugarcane processing industry wastes into renewable energy, exploiting anaerobic digestion (AD) and dark fermentation (DF). This review emphasises the various factors affecting the AD and DF of 1G and 2G sugarcane processing industry wastes. It also critically addresses the feasibility and challenges of operating a two-stage anaerobic digestion process for hydrogen and methane production from these wastes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion Technologies II)
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